Healthy Food to Boost Winter Immunity
By - 26 December 2022, Updated on -24 February 2023
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It's that time of the year when not just the temperatures dip but so does your immunity. Winters are known to give us a chill pill but did you know that cold weather also impacts your immune system? Yes, you heard it right! Now, this may have got you thinking, about how you suddenly start experiencing flu-like symptoms in winter and are mostly seen sneezing and coughing. Blame it all on the cool weather.
The Whimper in Winter!
Winter is the coolest of all seasons and it does bring happiness in the form of year-endings and holidays. However, it may take a toll on your health. Our bodies are used to warm temperatures as they themselves have an internal body temperature of about 37o C, which is quite warm. But in winter, the external temperature is much lower. The low temperature in the winter season affects the working of our immune system and may weaken it. Also, most people try to stay back indoors to remain warm, thus increasing close contact between each other which itself can help to spread infections. Children have immature immune systems and are more susceptible to conditions like colds in winter, due to close contact with other children in their schools or daycare.
Winters usually bring dry air along with them. This dry air is favorable for the spread of viruses, and more viruses can easily be spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs. In addition to this, the dry air dries out our nasal passages and makes them less capable of fighting the viruses.
You try to stay indoors in winter, thus limiting your sun exposure and vitamin D uptake. Lesser amounts of vitamin D have been linked to a weak immune system and influenza infections. So winters can actually go viral!
Snack on some immunity-boosters
Your body fights various types of diseases via its immune system and the property of this system to fight diseases is immunity. In the winter season, your immunity may drop and make it easier for you to fall sick. What can you do to help your immunity? You can try some immunity boosters. Immunity boosters are substances that can support and strengthen the immune system. They may be available from natural sources like fruits and vegetables or from supplements.
Benefits of immunity-boosters
Immunity boosters offer quite a few benefits for maintaining good health. These include;
- Preventing infections and diseases
- Supplying vital minerals and vitamins for maintaining the body’s proper functioning
- Improving energy levels to help to stay productive
- Improving the body’s healing
- Supporting and regulating the body processes like circulation and digestion
You don’t need to go too far to find immunity boosters for improving your health in the winter season. In fact, if you look around carefully, you may find most of these in your own home. Try these power-packed foods to boost your immunity this winter season.
5 natural foods that boost immunity in winter
Citrus fruits - Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are rich in vitamin C, which is a known immunity booster. It helps to improve the production of white blood cells and thus fights infections better. Oranges are also a good source of potassium, phytochemicals, and flavonoids, all of which improve your health. Include citrus fruits not just in your winter diet but also in your daily diet to boost your immunity and stay healthy.
Jaggery - It is a form of cane sugar which is a healthy substitute for white sugar. Apart from this, it is rich in iron and folate and helps to prevent anemia. It helps to boost immunity and fights the common cold. It is also rich in antioxidants which fight stress.
Cruciferous vegetables - Examples of cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower. These are loaded with vitamins A, C, E, fiber, and antioxidants. The vitamins and antioxidants from these vegetables boost the immune system. Kale is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene and folate. Cauliflower is also a great source of vitamin C.
Chili peppers - Chilli peppers may surprise you by having the highest amounts of vitamin C among all the herbs and spices. The capsaicin content of chilli peppers is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight diseases.
Cinnamon - Cinnamon is nice and more than a spice! It increases blood circulation and helps to keep the body warm. It boosts the immune system and has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. You can add cinnamon to your early morning tea or to cakes and muffins.
So try these immunity-boosting natural foods this winter season and stay healthy.
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